Anyone lucky enough to witness Richmond metallers Lamb of God levelling Bloodstock Open Air Festival in August will be able to testify that there was something of hunger in their performance that we haven’t quite seen from the band in a while. Coming ahead of the release of Omens, seeing the group absolutely raging through new tracks was a joy to behold. Now, as their ninth offering drops, longtime fans of the metal titans will be pleased to know that the hunger they demonstrated a couple of months ago drips off this colossal album.
The thing is that it’s almost impossible to pick out one standout factor which makes Omens as strong as it is because, in every area, Lamb of God in 2022 sounds like the complete package. For example, drummer Art Cruz leads from the back with a skull-splitting performance pinning together the unrelenting groove on songs like the blistering “To The Grave” and the title track. Now it’s those grooves which have always been the driving force behind the band right from the early days, and on tracks like recent single “Grayscale,” Mark Morton piledrives through some of the biggest Lamb of God-flavoured grooves that the band has ever had in their armoury.
As for frontman Randy Blythe, well, his snarl has always been acid-drenched, but, on Omens, there is a particular nastiness to the way he spits through the likes of “Ditch.” Elsewhere, you can picture the veins in his forehead throbbing as he growls his way through “Gomorrah,” while the spoken word passages find Blythe in even more sinister form. A performance that burns with fury, the frontman has always had one of the more aggressive voices in metal, but listening to his performance on Omens, the rage, the anger, and the downright hate seeping through his lyrics are just next level.
Nine albums in, and while the last couple of recordings have seen Lamb of God head on something of a rollercoaster of a journey; this is not the case with Omens. By switching from the two and half minute face-ripping “Denial Mechanism” to the six-minute masterpiece “September Song,” Omens is not just an unstoppable return to form from the band but a massive statement to the rest of the metal scene that Lamb of God is back, and back with a vengeance.
Omens Track Listing:
3. To The Grave
7. Ill Designs
9. Denial Mechanism
10. September Song
Run Time: 37:59
Release Date: October 7, 2022
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records